Elon Musk says SpaceX floating launch platform will be used in 2022

The floating launch platforms will help the company's goal of colonising Mars.
The floating launch platforms will help the company's goal of colonising Mars Photo credit: Getty Images

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, claims that the company's floating launch platform will be ready for use next year.

The first of SpaceX's two ocean spaceports - named Deimos after the second largest moon of Mars - is currently being converted from an oil rig at the port of Brownsville in Texas.

The spacecraft likely to be launched from Deimos is the Mars-bound Starship, consisting of the Super Heavy booster rocket and Starship spacecraft.

Combined, they are a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to "the moon, Mars and beyond".

The other ocean spaceport - named Phobos after Mars' largest moon - is currently being refitted in Mississippi.

The names are appropriate given Musk's desire to colonise the red planet. He told CNBC earlier this year that he was "highly confident" that SpaceX will land humans on Mars by 2026.

Earlier last month, a Starship spacecraft prototype successfully completed SpaceX's fifth high-altitude test.

As well as looking to extend the planetary reach of humans, Musk also wants SpaceX to reduce the travelling time around Earth. This would require launch platforms, like Deimos and Phobos, to be strategically placed around the globe.

"Imagine most journeys taking less than 30 minutes with access to anywhere in the world in an hour or less," the SpaceX website says.

"In addition to vastly increased speed, one great benefit to traveling in space outside of Earth's atmosphere is the lack of friction as well as turbulence and weather."

It claims travelling from London to Hong Kong would take just 34 minutes with Starship. The 10,000km journey takes nearly 12 hours using current commercial passenger aircraft.